Ezra 3:10-12 (NIV)
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests
in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with
cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of
Israel. 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD : "He is good;
his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of
praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the
former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being
laid, while many others shouted for joy.
The temple of the Lord was being rebuilt after having been destroyed. There
were two sets of feelings present as the foundation was finally laid in place.
Those who had never seen the temple were elated with joy and thanksgiving that
mercy had been given to provide them a place to worship. But there were some
living in the past regretting the sins that had befallen them and they knew the
glory of the new temple would not match the glory of the old temple.
Each year we have a day of Thanksgiving to remember the things we are thankful
for in our lives. It is a time of gathering of family and friends. It is a
holiday based on religious freedom and a celebration of a bountiful harvest. We
have been given great mercy in this nation that we have a place to worship and
call upon the name of the Lord. But in the news a teacher in Saudi Arabia was
given 750 lashes and placed in prison for teaching about our Bible. Mohammad al-
Harbi was charged with advancing a “dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying
the Jews were right, discussing the gospel and preventing students from leaving
class to wash for prayer.” We have much to be thankful for. Do we live in the
past remembering hurts, sins, and things that weight us down? Or do we trust
God to rebuild the sins that have been torn down and start our lives fresh each
day. Pray and give thanks to our Lord. Let your voice be praises of
thanksgiving to Him.